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Davey diagnoses Nats’ problems

Apr 23, 2013, 9:39 PM EST

Photo by USA Today

Entering Tuesday’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals, the Nationals have a winning record and aren’t even 20 games into the 2013 season, but inconsistency from night to night has produced an underwhelming start for a team with big goals in mind.
Manager Davey Johnson wishes he had the answer to what could get his team going, back on the near 100-win pace they maintained last season, but he can tell you what is going wrong. Johnson thinks it may have to do with those very expectations created by their dominant 2012 season.
“If there was some elixir I could throw out there, I’d have already used it,” Johnson said.
“There’s a lot of times I think they are trying to do too much. I think some of the pitchers are trying to do too much. Maybe from everybody picking us as a candidate to win our division, everybody’s trying to be a little better than they need to be instead of relaxing and going out there and doing what they’re capable of doing.”
The pitching staff is where Johnson says the team’s biggest problems exist as he thinks the offense is, in general, holding up their end as well as he would expect.
  1. NatsLady - Apr 23, 2013 at 10:01 PM

    Dusty Baker said the hardest team to manage is one where there are expectations and every fan is glued to every loss and players are pressing.

  2. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 23, 2013 at 10:25 PM

    The biggest problem with the Nats is the avalanche of sudden baseball experts that think 18 games constitutes an inevitable 162 game result.

  3. Rich P. - Apr 23, 2013 at 10:29 PM

    Without saying so, he basically said they're pressing. Which is exactly what the problem is, as diagnosed by Boswell and John Riggins. Loosen up Sandy baby, you're too tight.

  4. peric - Apr 23, 2013 at 10:32 PM

    The biggest problems and they will continue to be problems in spite of anything anyone (including Natsjack) says are : INJURIES.Ramos, Zimmerman, Espinosa, LaRoche …

  5. JayB - Apr 23, 2013 at 10:56 PM

    Come on Njack…it is not the fans fault they are leading MLB in Errors or that they can not hit or throw strikes…..the issues are real and the data is mounting….It is early and they can turn it around but lets not blame the fans and ignore the issues here…..It reminds me of your view that nothing in spring training matters….like Haren and Storen would just turn it around like flipping a switch.

  6. DJB - Apr 23, 2013 at 11:07 PM

    Bad pitching is the primary cause, starting pitching in particular. The league has adjusted to Stras and Gio. Remember, Stras had come back from TJ and Gio was from the AL. Stras did not appear to adjust. He needs to work both sides of the plate, which he should have been doing before now. Gio, as exemplified in the NLDS, needs better control, especially during pressure situations. He did not work on that either. Batting is about where it was last year, with the oft-injured Zimm the cause of a hole in the lineup. It's too bad for Bryce, because he was one of the few who did adjust in the off-season. Almost all of his homers have been off curves, a pitch he had trouble with last year. Now the league has adjusted, given the absence of Zimm, and won't give him much at all. Just take the walks, and the OBP, and keep your chin up Bryce. I believe next year you will get help.

  7. JaneB - Apr 23, 2013 at 11:13 PM

    I think we all need to calm down, and help them calm down too. I'm with NatsJack on this. He isn't (if I may speak for him) BLAMING anything on the fans as much as he's saying our expectations are being thwarted AND we are forgetting that they have among the best records in baseball, even with "this" record. They need to have some fun again. We need to not worry and hang on every pitch (and I say this as much for myself as for anyone else). We all need to relax and PLAY again. The "fun" quotient is where Michael Morse was the MVP. Another reason to miss him.

  8. Less Platu - Apr 23, 2013 at 11:25 PM

    Blah Blah Blah –quit your whining; play some ball. You've got a weaker club than last year, so you need to coach your arse off — no more mirrors, Davey. Let's see you do it.

  9. Less Platu - Apr 23, 2013 at 11:27 PM

    Blah Blah Blah –quit your whining; play some ball. You've got a weaker club than last year, so you need to coach your arse off — no more mirrors, Davey. Let's see you do it.

  10. Another_Sam - Apr 24, 2013 at 12:15 AM

    As usual right on, NatsJack.

  11. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 24, 2013 at 12:21 AM

    Thanks Sam. And I'm here all week in section 235.

  12. DJB - Apr 24, 2013 at 12:24 AM

    We, as fans, can't help whether the team is good or bad. Yes, I had expectations, but I won't let the failure to achieve those expectations dampen my fun in watching. No matter what happens this year, we still have the memories of last year. So, even if this is a bad year, we know it can be done again. So that will keep me coming back, maybe not as frequently when the losing is difficult, but I will still enjoy the game. I also have a unique talent in Bryce Harper to watch.

  13. Oldguy - Apr 24, 2013 at 12:40 AM

    When you talk world series in April you make the baseball gods very angry. And who started that?

  14. jackson - Apr 24, 2013 at 12:42 AM

    I think it's more than just pressing due to high expectations. This team that many "experts" said has no holes, does have some holes, including in the bullpen and pinch hitting. And Davey's inflexibility and inability to react quickly to make needed changes in games could be a factor, as it was in Game 5 of the NLDS last Oct.

  15. jackson - Apr 24, 2013 at 12:44 AM

    Rizzo and Johnson started the WS talk….

  16. Ivan Tuski - Apr 24, 2013 at 2:45 AM

    Johnson not Rizzo





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